Louisville snaps No. 2 UNC's 12-game win streak

North Carolina's Brice Johnson (11) defends against Louisville's Quentin Snider (2) on Monday night. (Timothy D. Easley)

Damion Lee scored 24 points, including two free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining, to help No. 19 Louisville upset No. 2 North Carolina 71-65 on Monday night, ending the Tar Heels' 12-game winning streak.

After scoring just six points in Saturday's loss to then-No. 11 Virginia, Lee lifted the Cardinals to a hard-fought victory over the first-place Tar Heels by making 8 of 12 shots, including consecutive 3-pointers that helped provide a 55-50 lead with 9:35 remaining.

Chinanu Onuaku later added a three-point play to make it 63-55, Ray Spalding scored and Trey Lewis followed with a big layup and then two free throws with 26 seconds left for a four-point lead.

Lee sealed the win by making two more at the free throw line as Louisville (18-4, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) handed the Tar Heels (19-3, 8-1) their first conference loss.

Onuaku had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Donovan Mitchell added 10 points for the Cardinals.

Justin Jackson scored 16 points and Brice Johnson had 15 for North Carolina, which shot just 35 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers.

Louisville controlled the paint 36-28 and edged the Tar Heels 41-39 on the boards.

The Cardinals had nowhere to go up but after Saturday's 63-47 loss to Virginia, when it shot a season-low 33 percent and committed 18 turnovers. Having Onuaku back in the starting lineup after being slowed by a stomach virus helped the Cardinals, though two first-half fouls limited his effectiveness.

He came up big in the second half despite foul trouble to help Louisville, which certainly needed to rebound against a North Carolina squad coming off a 27-point rout of Boston College and leading the ACC in scoring. And as it turned out, rebounds were key in keeping the Cardinals ahead in a rough-and-tumble game where baskets were hard to come by.

In fact, much of the first-half offense came at the free throw line with the Tar Heels' 12-of-15 accuracy helping somewhat offset their 29 percent shooting. Marcus Paige particularly struggled, missing all five attempts in the half before finishing with nine points.

Louisville was slightly better at 32 percent and somehow emerged with a 28-27 lead at the break despite trailing for much of the half. The Cardinals were solid at the free throw line but were better making putbacks, outrebounding North Carolina 21-18 and keeping its fast break scoreless through 20 minutes.

TIP-INS

North Carolina: Four of the Tar Heels' next five games are against the ACC's top-six scoring teams. ... North Carolina fell to 2-1 against ranked teams this season.

Louisville: Four of the Cardinals' next seven ACC games are on the road.

UP NEXT:

North Carolina: Visits Notre Dame on Saturday.

Louisville: Hosts Boston College on Saturday.

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